Viraj Paunikar, Joint Commissioner (Drugs), Konkan Division, Thane

Akela

FOLLOWING Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s footsteps, a tea seller (Chaiwala) has turned INSPECTOR at Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in Thane. Shockingly, this Chaiwala not only serves tea, biscuits to all FDA officials, but also collects HAFTA on behalf of the officials and also affixes Stamps and Seals on medicines.

ABI (Akela Bureau of Investigation) is in possession of a video in which a Chaiwala named BUAA is applying stamp on medicines bottles in FDA office, Thane. As per rule this work is allotted for Inspector ranks officers only. The medicines (syrup bottles) collected from various medical stores are being sent to laboratory for testing the authenticity. Before sending the samples to laboratory it is necessary to stamp and seal them to prevent misuse, tampering and contamination of samples and maintain a proper chain of custody. The inspector who collects samples is also responsible for stamping. However, this video and case exposes the lax attitude of the officials at FDA as they knowingly let unqualified person not only handle such medicines but also stamp and seal them.

Sources have revealed that Buaa, the Chaiwala is very CLOSE to Viraj Paunikar, the Joint Commissioner (Drugs), Konkan Division, Thane. Apart from illegally affixing stamps and seals on medicines and doing the job of Inspectors, Buaa also decides who has access to Paunikar and controls who can and cannot meet him. He thus opens the door of Paunikar for visitors.

The FDA sources also told ABI (abinet.org) that nearly Rs 1,00,000 hafta (bribe money) is being collected in Thane office every day. The bribe money is collected by and stored with Buaa and later Buaa circulates the money to all officers as per their hierarchy.

This is indeed a very sad state of affairs and there is no question that person in charge of sealing and stamping the medicines has on him enormous responsibilities and hence the job has been permitted to be done by persons with Inspector rank only. By allowing an unqualified tea seller to do such an important job, one can safely assume that there Paunikar is not only risking tampering of medicines collected but is also playing with lives of hundreds of people who are affected by certification of those medicines. Needless to say that investigations should happen at the highest level in FDA to check the financial gains made by FDA officials as well as Paunikar in Thane office and they should be held criminally liable for such laxity.

As Viraj Pauniker has permitted Chaiwala for this work, no officer has dared to interrupt Buaa. He is PANI KAM CHAIWALA. Buaa ‘khata bhi hai khilata/pilata bhi hai.’ Now one can safely say it is possible as MODI HAI TO MUMKIN HAI.

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